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Statt einer Selbstkritik und einer Selbsteinkehr sehe ich da etwas von »Wir sind das bessere Deutschland« und »Das da ist gar nicht Deutschland« und solchen Unsinn. Aber ein Land ist nicht nur das, was es tut – es ist auch das, was es verträgt, was es duldet. Es ist gespenstisch, zu sehen, was die pariser Leute treiben – wie sie mit etwas spielen, was es gar nicht mehr gibt. Wie sie noch schielen – wie sie sich als Deutsche fühlen – aber zum Donner, die Deutschen wollen euch nicht! Sie merken es nicht.
In lieu of self-criticism and self-incarceration, what I see is more in the line of “We are the better Germany,” and “That over there is not really Germany,” and similar nonsense. But a country is not just what it does—it is also what it puts up with, what it tolerates. It is spooky to consider what the Parisian émigrés are up to—how they seek to play with something that has disappeared. How they squint—how they feel themselves to be Germans—but blast it, the Germans don’t want you any more! They don’t notice it.
–Kurt Tucholsky, Letter to Arnold Zweig, Dec. 15, 1935 in: Gesammelte Werke, vol. 7, p. 574-75 (1972)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead:
Honeybees can recognize individual human faces.
Pope Francis announced that nuns could use social media, and a priest flew a hot-air balloon around the world.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”